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Wines: Organic Farming

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 139313, tabled on 14 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to permit the use of more organic treatments for Botrytis and downy mildew by wine producers in the UK; and if the Government will undertake a review of organic farming treatments to enable the UK wine industry to compete effectively with its European counterparts.

Answered on

22 March 2022

Any plant protection product used to control fungal diseases such as Botrytis and downy mildew in crops needs to be authorised before it can be sold or used. Authorisation is granted if strict standards for the protection of people and the environment are met.

The organic regulations have a list of approved plant protection products available for organic farmers to manage pests, disease and weed management at crop production stage. Their use comes under restrictive conditions such as compositional requirements and they can only be used in certain situations. Use of the crop products support organic farmers to produce healthy crops including organic grapes for the UK wine industry.

The Government intends to take advantage of our new post EU Exit freedoms and review the organic regulations. The broad aim of the review will be to improve the clarity and functioning of the regulations and through this, support growth in the organic sector. The review will cover the full organics regulatory regime, soil fertilising products, plant protection products, inputs and processing aids to support organic production. Changes to these regulations will require full consultation and consider the impacts on organic equivalence agreements in place with key trading partners.